Voxel-based morphometry in women with borderline personality disorder with and without comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 12;8(6):e65824. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065824. Print 2013.

Abstract

Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) showed reduced volume of amygdala and hippocampus, but similar findings are evident in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Applying voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in a larger cohort of patients with BPD, we sought to extend earlier findings of volume abnormalities in limbic regions and to evaluate the influence of co-occurring PTSD in BPD patients. We used voxel-based morphometry to study gray matter volume (GMV) in 60 healthy controls (HC) and 60 patients with BPD. Subgroup analyses on 53 patients concerning the role of co-occurring PTSD were conducted. Additionally, regression analyses were calculated to assess the relation between borderline symptom severity as well as dissociative experiences and GMV. Differences in local GMV between patients with BPD and HC were observed in the amygdale and hippocampus as well as in the fusiform and cingulate gyrus. Co-occurring PTSD was accompanied by increased GMV in the superior temporal gyrus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Independent of co-occurring PTSD, severity of BPD symptoms predicted smaller GMV in the amygdala and dorsal ACC. Dissociation was positively related to GMV in the middle temporal gyrus. We could replicate earlier findings of diminished limbic GMV in patients with BPD and additionally show that patients with co-morbid PTSD feature increased GMV in prefrontal regions associated with cognitive control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / pathology*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Organ Size
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / pathology*

Grant support

Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG SCHM 1526/8-1) to Prof. Schmahl. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.